Spiritual Meaning of REVELATION 1:6
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AR 20. Verse 6. And maketh us kings and priests, signifies who gives to those who are born of Him, that is, who are regenerated, to be in wisdom from Divine truths, and in love from Divine goods. It is known that in the Word the Lord is called "king," and also "priest"; He is called "king" from Divine wisdom, and "priest" from Divine love; therefore, they who are in wisdom from the Lord are called "sons of the king," and also "kings;" and they who are in love from Him, are called "ministers" and "priests;" for the wisdom and love with them is not from themselves, thus not their own, but the Lord‘s. Hence it is that these are meant in the Word by "kings" and "priests;" not that they are such, but that the Lord is such in them, and causes them to be so called. They are also called "born of Him," "sons of the kingdom," "sons of the Father," and "heirs;" "born of him" (John 1:12, 13), that is, born again, or regenerated (John 3:3); "sons of the kingdom" (Matt. 8:12; 13:38); "sons of the Father in heaven" (Matt. 5:45); "heirs" (Ps. 127:3;1 Samuel 2:8; Matt. 25:34); and because they are called heirs, sons of the kingdom, and born of the Lord as their Father, they are called "kings and priests;" then also it is said that:--

They will sit with the Lord upon His throne (Apoc. 3:21).

There are two kingdoms into which the entire heaven is distinguished, the spiritual kingdom and the celestial kingdom; the spiritual kingdom is what is called the Lord’s royalty, and as all who are therein are in wisdom from truths, therefore they are meant by "the kings," which the Lord will make those men who are in wisdom from Him; and the celestial kingdom is what is called the Lord‘s priesthood, and because all who are there, are in love from goods, therefore they are meant by "priests," which the Lord will make those men who are in love from Him: in like manner, the Lord’s church upon earth is distinguished into two kingdoms; concerning those two kingdoms, see (HH n. 24, 226). He who does not know the spiritual signification of "kings and priests," may be hallucinated by many things which are related concerning them in the prophets and in the Apocalypse; as in these in the prophets:--

The sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee; thou shalt suck the milk of the Gentiles, yea thou shalt suck the breasts of kings; that thou mayest know that I Jehovah am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer (Isa. 60:10, 16).

Kings shall be thy nursing-fathers, and their princesses thy nursing-mothers (Isa. 49:23; Gen. 49:20; Ps. 2:10; Isa. 14:9; 24:21; 52:15; Jer. 2:26; 4:9; 19:3; Lam. 2:6, 9; Ezek. 7:26, 27; Hos. 3:4; Zeph. 1:8).

By "kings" in these passages, kings are not meant, but those who are in Divine truths from the Lord, and abstractly Divine truths, from which is wisdom. Neither are kings meant by "the king of the south" and "the king of the north" who waged war with each other (Dan. 11:1); but by "the king of the south" are meant those who are in truths, and by "the king of the north" those who are in falsities. In like manner in the Apocalypse, where kings are frequently mentioned; as in these passages:--

The sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates, and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings from the rising of the sun might be prepared (Apoc. 16:12).

The kings of the earth have committed whoredom with the great harlot that sitteth upon many waters (Apoc. 17:2).

All nations have of the wine of the wrath of the whoredom of Babylon, and the kings of the earth have committed whoredom with her (Apoc. 18:3).

And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies gathered together to make war with Him that sitteth on the white horse (Apoc. 19:19).

And the nations which are saved shall walk in His light, and the kings of the earth shall bring their glory and honor into the New Jerusalem (Apoc. 21:24);

and in other places, as (Apoc. 16:14; 17:2, 9-14; 18:9, 10). By kings are here meant those who are in truths, and, in the opposite sense those who are in falsities; and abstractly, truths or falsities. By "the whoredom of Babylon with the kings of the earth" is meant the falsification of the truth of the church; that Babylon, or the woman who sat upon the scarlet beast, did not commit whoredom with the kings, but that she falsified the truths of the Word, is evident. From this it is evident that by "kings," that the Lord will make those who are in wisdom from Him, is not meant that they will be kings, but that they will be wise. That this is so, enlightened reason also sees. So in the following:--

Thou hast made us unto our God kings and priests, that we may reign upon the earth (Apoc. 5:10).

That the Lord, by "a king," meant truth, is evident from His own words to Pilate:--

Pilate said unto Him, Art Thou not a king then? Jesus answered, Thou hast said that I am a king. For this was I born, and for this I came into the world, that I should give testimony to the truth; everyone that is of the truth heareth my voice. Pilate saith unto Him, What is truth? (John 18:37, 38).

"To bear witness unto the truth," means that He Himself is the truth; and because from it He called Himself "a king," Pilate said, "What is truth," that is, is truth a king? That "priests" signify those who are in the good of love, and abstractly the goods of love, will appear in what follows.

AR 21. Unto God and His Father, signifies thus images of His Divine wisdom, and of His Divine love. By "God and Father," in the spiritual sense, two persons are not meant; but by "God" is meant the Divine as to wisdom, and by "Father" the Divine as to love; for there are two things in the Lord, the Divine wisdom and the Divine love, or the Divine truth and the Divine good; these two are meant in the Old Testament by "God" and "Jehovah," and here, by "God" and "Father." Now because the Lord teaches, that He and the Father are one, and that He is in the Father and the Father in Him (John 10:30; 14:10, 11), by God and the Father are not meant two Persons, but the Lord alone. The Divine also is one and indivisible, therefore by "Jesus Christ made us kings and priests unto God and His Father," is signified, that they appear before Him as images of His Divine wisdom and of His Divine love; for in these two consists the image of God in men and angels. That the Divine, which in itself is one, is designated by various names in the Word, may be seen in the Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Lord. That the Lord Himself is also the Father, is evident from the following places. In Isaiah:--

For unto us a Boy is born, unto us a Son is given, and His name shall be called Wonderful, God, Hero, the Father of eternity, the Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6).

In the same:--

Thou, Jehovah, art our Father, our Redeemer, thy name is from an age (Isa. 63:16);

and in John:--

If ye had known Me, ye should have known My Father also, and from henceforth ye know Him, and have seen Him. Philip saith unto Him, Lord, show us the Father. Jesus saith unto him, He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father, therefore how sayest thou, Show us the Father? believe Me, that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me (John 14:7, 8, 9, 11; n. 962).

AR 22. To Him be glory and might unto the ages of ages, signifies, to whom alone belong Divine majesty and Divine omnipotence to eternity. By "glory" in the Word, where the Lord is treated of, is meant the Divine majesty; this being predicated of His Divine wisdom; and by "might," is meant the Divine omnipotence, this being predicated of His Divine love; and by "ages of ages," is meant eternity. That such is the meaning of "glory," "might," and "ages of ages," when spoken of Jehovah or the Lord, may be confirmed from many passages in the Word.

AR 23. Amen, signifies Divine confirmation from the truth, thus from Himself. "Amen" signifies truth; and because the Lord was truth itself, He so often said, "Amen, I say unto you," (Matt. 5:18, 26; 6:16; 10:23, 42; 17:20; 18:13, 18; 25:12; 28:20; John 3:11; 5:19, 24, 25; 6:26, 32, 47, 53; 8:34, 51, 58; 10:7; 13:16, 20, 21; 21:18, 25); and in the following passage:--

These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness (Apoc 3:14);

that is, the Lord. That the Lord is the truth itself, He Himself teaches in (John 14:6; 17:19).

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Author:  E. Swedenborg (1688-1772). Design:  I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002. www.BibleMeanings.info